Going to the bathroom is not something one usually thinks too hard about. Except for in those restaurants with really cryptic signs, many people don’t have to deliberate about which restroom to choose.
It is not that easy for everyone, though. Some people do not identify as strictly male or female, or they express themselves in ways that don’t fit the gender expectations and assumptions that our culture has of them. For these people, the decision of which bathroom to enter is not something that can be taken lightly. For some the thought of going into a bathroom makes them uneasy because they are forced to choose between two identities, neither of which defines them. And in whichever room they choose, they will be surrounded by people who will judge them and may even go so far as to hurt them, in extreme cases.
That is why all-gender bathrooms are extremely important: they allow people who do not identify in conventionally-assigned gender identities to have a space where they feel like they belong, and can feel safe. As for the people who are comfortable in restrooms that are either ‘male’ or ‘female’, having all-gender bathrooms just makes life easier.
Paul Smith’s should establish all-gender bathrooms in all the buildings. When we include these restrooms as well, not only will we be able to allow every individual in our student body be comfortable with the restrooms they choose, but we will provide a much more inclusive environment to any prospective students. They will feel like they could come here, and feel accepted for who they are.
I’m a 19 year old (20 in 14 days) guy who likes snakes and star gazing. I’m a part of Pride Club, Swordsman Club, PSC Bobcat Radio Club, and part of the rock climbing team. I have recently attended NELGBTC 2016, which brought up this topic.